Dear friends of the Discernment Doctor,

Sorry to be away from the blog for a while.  Sometimes the day job at Old North gets a bit busy.  Glad to see that a steady stream of folks continue to visit the blog for help with the Episcopal discernment process.

An “Ask the Discernment Doctor” query has prompted this post.  Abigail asks, “I need tips, advice, general help, and how best to answer the questions in the narrative section of the OTM profile.”  This is a frequently asked question and focuses on the most useful section of the OTM portfolio.  Last spring, I led a seminar for Massachusetts clergy focusing on the topic which was well received.  Below is the material I used to help clergy respond to the narrative questions.

Visitors to this blog know that I am a fan of Rob Voyle’s Clergy Leadership Institute.  With Rob’s permission and guidance, I adapted his generic appreciative interview format for the questions in the OTM narrative sections.  Appreciative interviews require two peers to interview each other with a series of questions that explore personal stories and their underlying values.  An interview should last about an hour, with each participant taking half an hour to interview the other.  Several examples of Rob’s appreciative interviews can be found here.

To get the most value from this Appreciative Inquiry Guide to the OTM Narrative Section, I suggest that clergy find a partner and schedule a series of meetings to slowly go through each set of questions.  You will discover that the process of sharing your passions and skills with a peer will help you better discern the talents God has given you to offer to the world.  You may also discover there are better questions to ask than the ones I have written.  Feel free to modify the sets of questions while keeping the basic format.

Steve

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: Describe a moment in your recent ministry that you recognize as one of success and fulfillment.

1. Tell me of a time in your ministry when you experienced success and fulfillment.  When you accomplished something in your life during that made you feel excited, enriched, fulfilled, alive, and hopeful for your future. What made it exciting? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the success, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to the success that made it so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched this experience of success.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION Describe your liturgical style and practice.

1. Tell me of a time in your community’s worship life where the liturgy exceeded the congregation’s expectations. When the spirit of God was present and made the congregation feel excited, enriched, fulfilled, alive, and blessed. What made it a blessing? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role leading worship, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to worship that make it so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched this experience of worship.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION How do you practice incorporating others in ministry?

1. Tell me of a time when you enable others to be fully engaged in the ministry of your community. When they felt excited, enriched, fulfilled, alive, and blessed in their ministry. How were they encouraged and supported? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role in encouraging and mentoring the ministry of others, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to supporting ministry that make it so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched this experience of mentoring and encouragement.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION How do you care for your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being?

 

1. Tell me of a time in your life when you felt refreshed from the daily demands of your vocation. When you felt rested and at ease, open to the blessings of creation. What were you doing that made this a time of renewal? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think about caring for yourself, what practices do you most value? What practices and hobbies bring you joy?

3. What personal resources do you seek to care for yourself? Who else helps you care for your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being?

 

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. When your interviews are completed you will present the results to the wider group.  Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: Describe your involvement in either the wider Church or geographical community.

 

1. Tell me of a time when you were involved in your city or town or in your diocese where your participation made a significant difference in the work they were addressing. Where your contributions were valued by other participants and where the outcome of your work was a success. What were your significant contributions? Who else was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role as a community or church leader, what is it that you most value about yourself? What are your personal skills and attributes that enable you to make a positive contribution?

3. Describe how you blend your particular gifts with the gifts of others so they enrich the outcome of your work together.

 

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. When your interviews are completed you will present the results to the wider group.  Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: How do you engage in pastoral care for others?

 

1. Tell me of a time when you provided significant pastoral care to a member of your community. When God’ reconciling and healing spirit was able to touch someone’s life in a time of need. How was your pastoral care a blessing? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role as a pastor, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to pastoral care that make it so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched your exercise of pastoral care.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

 

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. When your interviews are completed you will present the results to the wider group.  Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: Tell about a ministry project that exists because of your leadership. What was your role in its creation? Who can be contacted about this project?

1. Tell about a ministry project that exists because of your leadership. What was your role in its creation?   What made it succeed? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.  Who can be contacted about this project?

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role leading project development, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring that makes developing projects so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched this project.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

 

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: How are you preparing yourself for the Church of the future?

 

1. Tell me about an experience, seminar, retreat or other formation program that gave you hope about building a stronger church in the future. When you learned a new set of skills or were given a new perspective on the opportunities for ministry in the future Why were you excited? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role leading the church into the future, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to strategic visioning that that engages your heart and soul?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enriched your vision of the church’s future.  Who or what else contributed to your vision?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: What is your personal practice of stewardship and how do you utilize it to influence your ministry in your worshipping community?

 

1. Tell me of a time when your personal stewardship practices gave you a sense of joy and accomplishment. When your generosity felt like a deep blessing. What made it a blessing? Who was involved? How did you share that blessing with your community?  Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role leading stewardship, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you offer that make it so fulfilling?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that help you as a stewardship leader.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: What is your experience of conflict involving the church? And what is your experience in addressing it?

 

1. Tell me of a time when you were able to help your community resolve a conflict. When the spirit of God was present and helped the congregation move from being stuck to feeling blessed. How did you get from point A to point B? Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role resolving conflict, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring that make it so effective?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that helped bring the congregation together.   Who or what else contributed to increased harmony?

Appreciative inquiry to the narrative section of the OTM Portfolio

Instructions: In pairs interview take time to interview one another using the following questions. Be a generous interviewer. Do not dialogue, rather take turns to actually conduct an interview. If you need more information or clarification ask additional follow-up questions. Use this sheet to record the results of your interview. Use one half hour per person to interview each other.

Before you conduct the interview take a minute to read the questions and decide how you will personally answer the question and make a mental note of your response. Now proceed with the interviews, paying full attention to the interviewee rather than to your story.

OTM QUESTION: What is your experience leading/addressing change in the church? When has it gone well? When has it gone poorly? And what did you learn?

 

1. Tell me of a time when your community moved from one spiritual place to another.  Where a major change in leadership, program, liturgy or architecture took place.   What helped the congregation move from one place to another?  Who was involved? Describe the event in detail.

2. Without being humble, when you think of the your role leading change, what is it that you most value about yourself? What personal resources did you bring to change that enable others to take risks?

3. Describe any external resources (i.e. those resources beyond yourself) that enabled the congregation to move from one place to another.  Who or what else contributed to the success?

About these ads